Suffering + Perseverance = Character

It turns out that whoever said, “Whatever doesn’t kill you, will make you stronger,” actually knew what they were talking about. For a long time I never understood a section in the Bible in the book of Romans. It says…

…but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope (Rom. 5:3-4).

Why would anyone “glory,” or celebrate, suffering? The answer completely changed the way I see my faith and the way I believe God shapes me into his image. Here it is: suffering plus perseverance produces character. In other words, we are shaped into the people God wants us to be when we endure difficult circumstances.

I heard James MacDonald speak at an Acts 29 church planting event a few months ago. He said something that stuck with me. As he was talking about suffering he said, “Suffering is God’s primary tool in his tool belt for shaping us into his image.” The more and more I’ve thought about this statement, and the more I’ve tested it against Scripture, the more I believe it’s true.

So, it turns out, whatever doesn’t kill us, will actually make us stronger. Have a great week!

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